September 22, 2019 by Stephen L Wright
In front of a much smaller crowd than two weeks ago, Blues Women brought the game to Everton, this time in the first group game of the Continental Cup.
We’ve had mixed fortunes in the Conti (the Women’s League Cup). In 2016 we made the final against Man City (at Man City – but that’s a whole other post) which we lost. Last season, in a new format competition, we made it to the knockout stage.
Everton sit at the top of the Super League, with Blues 9th but on the strength of today’s performance I predict Blues will rise higher in the league and stay in the Cup hopefully to the Final.
Marta Tejedor made one change from the starting XI that faced Everton last time. Her choice of Connie Scofield was well received by the fans. Connie is a good technical player but hasn’t had the field time she deserves. She thanked the Boss with a well delivered technical game (64 mins) and a narrowly missed attempt to get on the score sheet. Her POTM was well deserved.
For the rest, this was a totally different team from the opening two games of the Season. Whereas two weeks ago they let Everton see too much of the ball, and allowed themselves to be harried and hassled, today they closed them down, harried and hassled and were hungry for the win. All outfield players put in a very commendable game and Hannah Hampton played a blinder, again, when she was called on to keep goal (which wasn’t often). That said, there were a couple of periods of scrappy play when passes went astray and hoofed balls were won by the opposition (rarely will we win a ball in the air in the outfield). There were also a couple of times in each half when Everton got the edge and were unlucky not to score. But overall Blues were the dominant force and the victor’s laurel goes to Super Sub Rachel Williams for her late in the second half header from a Lucy Staniforth cross.
Can the team keep this going? Well, the win understandably raised their spirits and they were all smiles in the after match Meet ‘n’ Greet.
They take on Reading next Sunday, at Home, in the League. This is always a tough contest but I have a very good feeling that the visitors won’t find it an easy ride.